College Interviews

  • In the links below, please find articles on being successful in your college interview. Keep in mind, not all colleges require an interview.

    Given the large numbers of students applying to college these days, and an increasing consciousness that not everyone can afford to visit campuses, many schools do not require interviews. Check to see if your schools require one. If you feel confident about your ability to present yourself in person, then try to set up an interview even if it is not mandatory. An interview, like an admissions essay, is an excellent opportunity to ask questions and elaborate on anything that might be unclear in your application.

    • Dress neatly. Arrive early. Bring a copy of your transcript and a resume.
    • Prepare questions for the interviewer by reviewing specifics about the school you are visiting. Asking questions shows a genuine concern for the school which, in turn, tells the counselor you would be serious about attending the school if admitted. Your questions should be analytical, not factual; that is, ask the counselor to give her opinion about or analyze some aspect of the school. For instance, how do things like campus size or location impact the educational experience? What are the best departments on campus? How do faculty tend to view undergraduates? What are the current debates on campus?
    • Prepare for the interview by reviewing your own background and interests so you may eloquently share your strengths with the counselor. Be prepared to assess yourself for the counselor; remember to analyze both your strengths and weaknesses as a student and a person. You can turn "negative" qualities, such as "I am a perfectionist," into positive statements about your commitment to excellence.
    • During the interview, try to show how you could contribute to the college community. What experiences or different points of view would you bring to the setting? Also, show your interest in the school and be prepared to explain why you are drawn to it.
    • Be honest with the interviewer. If there are things you would like to improve about yourself, don't be afraid to say so since this shows introspection and a willingness to grow. On the same note,don't be afraid to pause and take some time to think about difficult questions.
    • An interview should not considered an exercise in self-defense.The skilled interviewer wants you to feel at ease so that he or she can get a chance to know you.

    The objective of the college interview

    Your foremost objective is to help convince the college that you are a good fit for that school.

    • How do you want the interviewer to remember you?
    • In 30 minutes, you must communicate the qualities that set you apart from others.
    • Take care of any doubts the admissions officer may have with your record.

    Types of college interviews

    • The one-on-one on campus interview with an admissions officer.
    • The on-campus group interview.
    • The alumni interview.
    • The college representative high school visit.

     Sample interview questions

    • Why are you considering this college?
    • How did you come to include us in your choices?
    • What makes you think this college is a good fit for you?
    • Where else are you applying and why?
    • What do you hope to major in and why?
    • What are your plans for the future?
    • What do you expect to be doing in ten years?
    • What have you liked or disliked about your high school experience?
    • If you were the principal of your school, what philosophies would you implement?
    • What would you like to tell me about yourself?
    • What books not required by your courses have you read lately?
    • What television shows do you watch?
    • Tell us about your family?
    • How do you spend a typical afternoon after school? Evenings? Weekends?
    • What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
    • Do you have any heroes? Why?
    • How would your best friends describe you?
    • What events have been crucial in your life?
    • What is the most significant contribution you have made to your school or community?
    • What is the most important thing you learned in high school?